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Bulgaria retains its veto on RN Macedonia

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A change in Bulgaria’s position regarding its veto of northern Macedonia is not expected, Bulgarian National Radio reported, citing its own source.

The issue of starting EU accession talks between Northern Macedonia and Albania is being discussed at the ongoing General Affairs Council in Luxembourg, which began this morning.

Bulgaria remains in the position that there is no progress in our western neighbor in the implementation of the agreement on good neighborly relations as a whole.

We remind you that the Prime Minister of RN Macedonia Zoran Zaev and a government delegation visited Sofia on June 17th and 18th. Zaev is already talking to BSP leader Cornelia Ninova. During his meeting with the Macedonian Prime Minister, the Bulgarian caretaker Prime Minister Stefan Yanev insisted on an open dialogue. They agreed with President Rumen Radev on 50,000 vaccines for Bulgaria to give to RN Macedonia.

Diplomat Stefan Tafrov described the meeting between Zoran Zaev and GERB leader Boyko Borissov as an attempt to use it for narrow party purposes.

A day before his visit to the Bulgarian capital, Zaev explained that no talks on the Macedonian language and identity would be held here during his visit.

We remind you that on June 11, 2021, after the last meeting of the Joint Multidisciplinary Expert Commission on Historical and Educational Issues with the Republic of Northern Macedonia, its chairman from the Bulgarian side, Prof. Angel Dimitrov, announced another failure. “The last hours have shown that it is difficult to reach an understanding for a text about Gotse Delchev,” said Angel Dimitrov.

At the previous meeting of the commission, a remark by Bulgarian historians about the textbooks in the RNM was blocked, in which the time and personality of Tsar Samuel were treated. According to Angel Dimitrov, the approach of Macedonian historians is a manifesto of a reluctance to change anything in the interpretation of the past.

The Joint Multidisciplinary Expert Commission on Historical and Educational Issues of Bulgaria and Northern Macedonia was established as a result of the Treaty of Friendship, Good Neighborliness and Cooperation between the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia, signed on August 1, 2017 and entered into force on February 14, 2018, and aimed to settle the contradictions between the two sides over a common history. As early as 2019, the then Deputy Prime Minister and leader of IMRO, Krassimir Karakachanov, warned that the talks were going on, but that no compromise could be made.

In general, the negative findings of failure are repeated after each of the meetings, as the talks were interrupted before the elections in the Republic of Northern Macedonia, which took place last year. At the same time, both the ruling and the opposition in Northern Macedonia expressed a number of hopes that after the change of power in our country there would be a reversal in our position and the veto imposed by Bulgaria on the negotiating framework for EU membership of RNM and Albania.

At the same time, attempts at influence from a number of EU member states are increasing, with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas speaking at a virtual meeting of the Berlin Foreign Minister.

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama also paid a two-day visit to Bulgaria last week.

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